By Fiona McIntosh, pics Shaen Adey
Sodwana Bay, in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, has always been popular with SCUBA divers, deep sea anglers and beach lovers. A range of accommodation options cater to all budgets and guided walks and tours complement the areas magnificent beach walks and marine adventures. Here are 7 reasons to linger longer in Sordies.
Sip cappuccino on the beach
Gone are the days when a greasy brekkies and burgers, ricoffy, black tea and fizzy drinks were all you could expect at Sodwana Bay’s rustic cafés. The wooden Sodwana Beach Kiosk, perched above the golden sands of Sodwana’s magnificent beach, has upped the ante and now does cappuccinos and lattes par excellence, fab breakfasts – including fruit, yogurt and granola – and a range of tasty sandwiches that will sustain even the hungriest diver and beach goer.
Visit the Sharklife Ocean Center
Only recently opened in Sodwana Bay, the Sharklife Ocean Center is a veritable treasure trove. The open jaws of our major shark species adorning the walls, along with magnificent photos and information boards on those and other marine life found off our shores will have you enthralled for hours.
Go whale watching
Humpback whales cruise past in the winter months and can sometimes be seen from the shore, or from the deck of Mseni Beach Lodge Restaurant, perched high on the dunes. But for the best viewing head out on a whale watching trip with Sodwana Bay Lodge. Tours are offered from June to October.
Take a turtle tour
Massive leatherback and loggerhead turtles nest on the beaches of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, with Sodwana Bay one of the prime spots to see the females laying, and, later in the season, the tiny hatchlings making their way back to the ocean. Peter Jacobs of Ufudu Tours, a passionate conservationist and fundi, runs turtle tours along the beach in a game viewing vehicle from November to May.
Cast a line
Plentiful game fish make Sodwana Bay a prime spot for deep sea angling. But you don’t need to go out in a boat to catch a big one. With a fishing permit (available from a post office) you can cast a line then sit on the beach with a beer until you get a bite!
Check out the curio stalls
Stalls selling brightly coloured kikois, reed baskets, wooden bowls and hand carved wooden fish and other mobiles line the road to the beach. The perfect place to do a bit of souvenir shopping.
Catch a wave
Sodwana Bay’s shore break is often peppered with kids on body boards, and when conditions are right there’s some excellent surfing to be had.
Country Life is giving away two copies of Fiona McIntosh’s book, Dive Sites of Southern Africa & Mozambique.
To win one of the two books, answer this easy question: In what park is Sodwana Bay situated?
The answer can be found in the article above and answers should be sent to [email protected]
The competition closes on 30 May 2017.